Under Your Skin

Written by: PP on 13/06/2011 01:17:18

My quest in exploring washed up nu-metal turned hard rock bands from the heights of the radio friendly hard rock popularity in the early parts of last decade continues with the release of the seventh Saliva album "Under Your Skin". Saliva, of course, are best known for their 2002 smash hit "Always", which catapulted the band into mainstream recognition precisely at the right time for that kind of music to peak.

That was back on their sophomore album, which typified the major label syndrome of releasing one or two hit singles per album while padding the remainder of the album with pure filler. Hands up who've listened to a Saliva record other than its mediocre follow-up since then? I didn't think so. Like most of their breed, such as Earshot, Adema, nonpoint, TRUSTCompany and countless others, their popularity surge was matched by an equal free fall into obscurity outside the hard rock lovin' bible belt of southern US in the hands of the nu-metal massacre. But unlike most of their peers, Saliva somehow managed to keep their major label deal in tact, of which "Under Your Skin" is proof of. It features the same old recycled hard rock riffs designed for large arena venues, big, radio-friendly choruses in a couple of hit singles, and does very little to distinguish itself from their colleagues doing the same thing.

The old Saliva material relied on crunchy nu-metal guitars and hook-driven songwriting (in the hit singles at least). The new stuff seems to have taken the band into a much softer direction, with less of a heavy edge to their guitars, resulting in a cleaner and poppier sound than before. That's probably good since it takes the band far away from brainless nu-metal, but it also means that "Under Your Skin" is a very typical major label record. It's safe beyond belief, takes absolutely no risks, has the two or three radio hits ("Badass", "Hate Me", "Spotlight") to drive album sales to make sure the record doesn't lose money, but doesn't offer much at all beyond that. Perhaps you can't call any of the songs awful because they are written from the formulaic big chorus mainstream hard rock perspective, but they often lack personality and any sort of emotional trigger whatsoever. And isn't that more or less the definition of filler material? In light of much better recent releases from especially TRUSTCompany and nonpoint, it's safe to group Saliva with their other anonymous colleagues like Adema, and call them dead on average.


Download: Badass, Spotlight, Hate Me
For the fans of: TRUSTCompany, Earshot, Adema, Rev Theory, nonpoint
Listen: Soundcloud

Release date 22.03.2011
Island Records

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